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What a Plant Knows with Dr. Monica Gagliano (University of Western Australia) & To Hear Plants Speak with Dr. Michael Marder (IKERBASQUE/University of the Basque Country)

How does a cabbage know when to cry for help? How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut? How do flowers know when to show their pretty colors? Can plants actually hear the chatter of the neighborhood? This talk is a window open onto the world of plants, an hour detour into the history of how we perceive them, what we know about them but most importantly, how plants themselves perceive and sense the world.

The question of the language of plants is a problem of translation into the more or less familiar frameworks of human discourse. Still, in order to hear plants speak, we must leave plenty of room for the untranslatable (and, hence, the unspeakable) in translation. To the extent that the language of plants refuses to impose specifically human voices, categories, and discursive structures onto the vegetal world, it gets in touch with its essentially silent self-expression.

Event Type: Lecture

Date and Time: Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Location: Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center, ICC 462, 37th and O St., N.W., Washington